Researcher, National Council for Scientific & Technological Development (Brazil)
Professor, Religious Studies & Social Science, Federal University of Juiz de Fora (Brazil)
Marcelo Ayres Camurça received his PhD in social anthropology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, National Museum of Anthropology. He is currently a tenured researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPQ) of Brazil and a professor for the graduate programs in religious studies and social science at the Federal University of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He researches various themes of the Brazilian religious landscape, including relations between Catholicism, Protestantism, and Pentecostalism; spiritualism; new religious movements; and the role of religion in the public sphere.
Previously, he served as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Groupe Societés, Religions, Laïcités (GSRL), a research center belonging to the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was also a member of the Mercosur Board of the Association of Social Scientists of
Religion (2005-2007, 2007-2009, 2013-2015), an organization which brings together researchers on the topic of religion in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Mexico.
Camurça has authored a variety of publications,including entries for encyclopedias on the subject of religion such as “Popular Practices in Brazil” in The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, 2010, edited by Daniel Platte, and“New Age and Christianity” in the Encyclopedia
of Latin American Religions (ELAR) published in 2015 by Springer.
In 2014, his dissertation was published by Appris Press in Curitiba, Brazil, as Os Melhores Filhos do Povo: um estudo do rirtual e simbólico numa organização revolucionária, Movimento Revolucionário Oito de Outubro (MR8). The English translation of this title is “The Best Sons of the People: A Study of Ritual and Symbolism in a Revolutionary Organization: The Revolutionary October 8 Movement (MR8).” Other publications include the following:
"The Brazilian Catholic Charismatic Renewal: A Spiritual Style between Tradition & Modernity"
Since the 1960s, an interesting phenomenon has influenced the institutionalized Western religions that have undergone an update of modernity and secularization: the boom of Pentecostalism and Charismatic movements, which suggest a longing for the world's re-enchantment. In the particular case of the Catholic Church in Brazil, the emergence of the so-called "Charismatic Renewal" did not represent a simple return to traditionalism but the arising of a syncretic blend of modernity, mysticism, and traditionalism, manifested through miscellaneous forms of self-expression, corporeality, consumerism, marketing and technology—e.g., the Internet and social media.